Roberts' Multimedia: Version 3 Highlights

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Take a quick look at the highlights for Version 3 of the Roberts' Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa below.

Overview, Multimedia Data, Installation and Setup, Program design, Introduction Module, List options, Family pages, Bird pages, Bird page notes, Similar Birds, Search Function, Identification Module, Birding Spots, Bird Lists, Source Lists, SAMap, Personal Lists, Ringers Lists, Photo Lists, Search Lists, Import/Export Lists, Add/Edit Bird function, Habitat module, Sound Module, Nest and Egg Module, Setup Module, Habitat Soundtracks, System Requirements


One of the most advanced and comprehensive birding cd-roms available,
the program includes the following modules;

         Family pages, including interactive list, short field-guide text, and maps
         Bird pages, including illustrations, maps, full text, photos, sounds, videos, rare bird data, alternative names, scientific names explained, and personal notes.
         Similar Bird comparison from both bird page and ID module
         Bird Identification using GISS (general impression, size and shape), Plumage, Habitat, Behaviour and Distribution
         Bird Lists (Source Lists, interactive Map, Personal lists, Ringers Lists, Photo Lists, Search Lists, Import/Export lists)
         Add/Edit birds to edit species names and numbers, add new birds, and create your own bird pages
         Birding Spots - where to watch birds, with interactive map, texts, photos, and links to bird pages
         Habitats - with bird lists, habitat descriptions with interactive links, and photos with slide shows
         Nest and Egg Identification
         Sound Identification
         Search Module for any bird name or word in all texts
         Help module
         Setup Module for user preferences and language settings
         Habitat Soundtracks
         Internet update capability
Multimedia Data
         All multimedia data re-sourced and edited to a higher standard
         1700 illustrations re-scanned to larger size
         4000 photos re-scanned to double size
         892 bird sounds, full length and mp3 quality.
         679 bird videos re-edited and saved with sync sound
         500 nest photos
         700 egg photos
         16 habitat soundtracks
         958 distribution maps colour-coded to show relative density of distribution.
         958 species texts updated with over 70 new and split species.

Installation and Setup
         The program is on two discs to accommodate all the multimedia data.
         Installation options vary from a minimum 150MB, to standard 450MB, and full 1200MB.
         Product registration is required, and the program may only be registered to a single computer.
         The program disc is required to start the program.
         User support available weekdays 8am-5pm.

Program design

         Introductory home page for quick and easy access to all modules

         Windows-style program interface, menus and short-cut buttons

         permanent bird list links all modules

         Setup module for program configuration and user preferences

         Internet update of data and program functions.


Introduction Module

         an introduction to the CD-Rom and all its interactive modules

         an explanation of bird families and their classification

         notes on the birds module and species text

         an explanation of scientific terminology and 'parts of a bird'

         reviews of birding equipment and techniques

         acknowledgements to contributors to the CD-Rom


List options

         bird list panel with multiple display options

         World list, Southern Africa list, Personal list or "filtered" lists

         sort by number, name or family name

         display language of English, Afrikaans, French, German and Scientific

         choose from Roberts 6 or Roberts 7 names

         quick-type search box

         list total reported

         alphabetical family list


Family pages

         108 family pages operate as a multimedia field guide

         selected species indicated by red dots and name pop-ups

         bird sound, field guide text, distribution map, alternative names and numbers for selected bird

         family text option

         to view any bird page, click name in list, or illustration, or bird page button, or shortcut icon


Bird pages

         958 bird pages with text, maps, illustrations, photos, sounds and videos

         text includes 'field-guide' text

         full Roberts 6 text

         species texts updated for over 70 new and split species

         scientific names explained

         alternative names

         rare bird sightings

         and your personal notes

         distribution maps colour-coded to show status (resident, breeding, migrant)

         distribution maps have variable colour density to show occurrence (uncommon, common, very common, abundant)

         new pink rare bird distribution

         colour-coded status bar shows time of year for occurrence and breeding 

         endemic and red data species indicated

         click to enlarge illustrations and photos to double size

         full length mp3 quality bird sounds

         videos with sync-sound

         click for full screen video

         add bird page notes and link these to bird lists.


Bird page notes

         add individual records and notes to any bird, and link record to a bird list

         bird page notes summarises all the bird list records for a particular species

         bird page notes appear as part of bird page text.


Similar Birds

         compare similar birds using a split bird page

         compare illustrations, text, maps, photos, and sounds.


Search Function

         search for a word or name in all texts (species text, birding spots, habitats, and introduction). 


Identification Module
The identification module uses a number of simple observations to narrow down the list of possible species.

         powerful new filter logic with multiple selections for observations for inclusive rather than exclusive sorting

         new filter option allows you to both add or delete ID selections, and monitor the effect

         powerful new GISS option (general impression, size and shape) for generating a shortlist

         new colour and plumage keys

         habitat, distribution, activity, sound, nest and egg options

         "view" option for type of illustration (groups, species, flight, nests, eggs)

         display option to select the size and number of images

         "similar species" option for detailed comparison

         page through the images using the forward > and back < arrows

         double-click on a bird to view the bird page

         use the ID module to pre-select a list for other modules.


Birding Spots
This module is about where and when to go birding, and what birds to look for. A map of
Southern Africa zooms to a selected region with birding spots indicated by red dots. You can select your region from the map, or an individual spot from the index

         zoom and scroll functions on map

         updated texts and maps, and additional photos

         add your own personal birding spots

         search function for where to find a particular bird

         overlay detailed map with a bird distribution to search for likely birding spots

         new text hyper-link from bird name to bird pages

         print the birding spot text, bird list, map, and photos.


Bird Lists
This module includes Source Lists, Personal Lists, Ringers Lists, Photo Lists, Search Lists. The module uses;


Source Lists

         for use in other modules of the cd-rom

         or creating personal lists (select from source, add to personal)

         or printing out for use in the field

         include countries, provinces, birding spots, habitats, quarter-degree-squares, personal lists

         map marker with zoomable map generates bird lists of any area or route

         month-of-year filter

         Edit View for customized design of lists and print output

         options of language, number, habitat, status, checkboxes, day-columns for field trips, font sizes.



         an interactive map for generating a bird list 

         click to zoom in and scroll around the map

         select a list by birding spot, quarter-degree-square, or draw a line or area

         generate a list for a full year, or any selected month

         return the generated list to any module

         view individual bird status (common resident, etc) from the map

         overlay bird distributions on detailed touring map.


Personal Lists

         dual-picture interface for adding species

         individual Micrososft Access database records each users lists

         list hierarchy of countries and provinces

         diary for notes associated with list

         list fields include date, place, view (seen, heard etc), class (male, female etc), breeding category, and species notes

         real-time updating of list data on view

         editing lock to avoid overwriting data

         Edit View

         Full View

         sort list by field options.


Ringers Lists

         formatted for SAFRING data entry and export

         'dual-picture' interface

         "fields to clear" options for adding new rings and details

         editing lock

Photo Lists

         includes camera and photo details

         variable options for adding new photos and details

         linking to digital photos

         listing of alternative subjects (animals, birding spots, etc)


Search Lists

         Search lists for specific records containing any date, place or recorded data


Import/Export Lists

         Import option for any list and associated data field (place, date, breeding data, etc)

         Export option for any details

         ADU Birds in reserves (BIRP) list export option.


Add/Edit Bird function

         Keep your source bird lists up to date

         Edit any bird name or number in any source list

         Add new species to a regional list from the World list

         create new "split" species for World list and sub-lists

         create new bird pages with multimedia including illustrations, photos, texts, maps, sounds and videos

         add your own multimedia to existing bird pages.


Habitat module

         The habitat module presents a colour-coded habitat map

         Choosing a habitat displays photographs, text and bird list, accompanied by a characteristic background soundtrack.

         You can page between habitats, browse associated bird lists, and open a the bird page.

         slide show of habitat photos, with adjustable time lapse, and background sounds

         autoplay of bird list illustrations and sounds

         export habitat bird lists to other modules


Sound Module
The sound module is designed for exploring and identifying bird sounds. Select from the bird sound characteristics to create a shortlist of possible species

         Selecting a character will play a typical example sound

         Ticking the selection box will sort for similar sounds

         multiple selection, add or undo selected characteristic

         auto-play of bird list

         pre-filter option to create shortlist by habitat, distribution, or ID module

         export lists to other modules

         bird page display linked to selected bird


Nest and Egg Module
The nest and egg module is for exploring and identifying bird nests and eggs

         Select from the typical characteristics to create a shortlist of possible species

         multiple selection, add or undo selected characteristic

         egg identification module with egg photos of 700 breeding species

         500 nest photos

         bird page display linked to selected bird

         pre-filter option to create shortlist by habitat, distribution or ID module

         export lists to other modules


Setup Module

         Setup option for program configuration and user preferences  program directory setup

         sound and video playback

         window colours, text and font size

         language selection

         user selection (for bird lists and notes)

         help and tips

         screensaver options

Help Module

         explains the operation of each function

         describes typical operations and uses of the program

         context-sensitive help from the [?] icon at the top right of the screen.



Roberts' Multimedia Version 3 is designed for regular program via the internet. Updates that will include

         program functions


         birding spots

         rare bird data  



         Screensaver with over 1700 high-quality large-size (640x480) images, with captions

         Screensaver can play with habitat soundtracks.


Habitat Soundtracks

         Sixteen seven-minute habitat soundtracks from around Southern Africa provide continuous background atmosphere

         Sound toggle button can be set to switch soundtracks off 

         Setup can be used to switch soundtracks on or off.

System Requirements

         Windows 98/ME, NT/2000, XP.         Minimum: Multimedia PC - Pentium P2, 32MB RAM, 120MB hard drive memory, sound card, internal CD-drive. Min screen settings 800x600, high colour, small fonts.         Recommended: Pentium P3, 64 MB RAM, 450MB/530MB hard drive memory.         Copy protection: Original disc required in first CD-drive to run program.          Registration required

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